Kyrsten Sinema Torpedoes Biden’s Federal Election Takeover

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) on Thursday wrecked President Biden’s hopes of destroying federal election integrity laws, causing Democrats to panic heading into the 2022 midterms.

While Biden on Wednesday was forced to shelve his massive tax and spend package until next year because of Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) opposition, Biden immediately pivoted to enact his second priority of altering election integrity laws, such as doing away with popular voter ID constraints.

Sen. Joe Manchin (Photo by Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images) and U.S. President Joe Biden (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“If we can get the congressional voting rights done, we should do it. … There’s nothing domestically more important than voting rights,” Biden said.

But Sinema singlehandedly burst Biden’s desperate attempt to weaken election integrity laws Wednesday evening by stating she will protect the 60-vote filibuster threshold. Fifty Senate votes are needed to trash the filibuster. If the filibuster is terminated, a simple majority vote could be held to destroy election laws.

To lure Sinema into destroying election laws, Democrats have watered down their original H.R.1 proposal. Yet Sinema’s spokesman John LaBombard told Politico she will protect the filibuster’s bipartisan standard and ultimately election integrity.

“She continues to support the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, to protect the country from repeated radical reversals in federal policy which would cement uncertainty, deepen divisions, and further erode Americans’ confidence in our government,” LaBombard said.

Sinema’s spokesman also implied that Sinema may be interested in the watered down “voting rights” proposal if it garnered bipartisan support above the filibuster’s threshold.

“Senator Sinema has asked those who want to weaken or eliminate the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation which she supports if it would be good for our country to do so,” LaBombard said.

Sinema’s position has caused congressional Democrats concern that 2020’s pandemic-centric election laws will not be applied in 2022, such as voting by mail and other weakened measures. Temporary 2020 elections laws reverting back to pre-pandemic rules likely reduce the Democrats’ ability to win elections.